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Mavs Extend Win Streak to Six, Defeat Rockets 101-91

On a night where the Mavericks could have fallen into a trap, they took care of business by defeating the Houston Rockets 101-91 to extend their winning streak to six games.  Dallas led, 60-53, at the 7:55 mark of the third quarter and used a 17-6 run over the next 4 minutes to open up an 18-point advantage (77-59) with 3:55 to go in the period.
Caron Butler scored 11 of the team’s 17 points that were recorded during Dallas’ run.

With the 101-91 win over Houston on Monday, the Mavericks extended their winning streak to six games and improved to 7-3 at home this season. Dallas has now scored 100-plus points in four consecutive games

To say Butler was feeling it would probably be an understatement.  The 11 points he scored during that extended run came in a 2:11 time-span and he even hit a shot just inside of half-court that he threw up as the Mavericks had just called a timeout.  "I felt pretty good," said Butler with a laugh.  "With that flow going, you get in one of those zones and your teammates just keeping feeding you and finding you and that's what you want to do, just continue to shoot the ball."

Jason Kidd was very instrumental in getting Butler in "the zone."  The defensive effort was huge and that allowed the Mavericks to get in transition offense and that allows Kidd to go to work.  "When a guy gets going, our guys do a good job of finding him," said Carlisle on Butler's 3rd quarter performance.  "We are not doing a ton of play calling right now. Jason Kidd had a lot to do with the way he (Butler) got going out there. They had some stuff going among themselves that was really effective and when he (Butler) gets a hot hand, he is really tough to get under control."

This marks the second game in a row where Butler had a strong influence in the overall result for the Mavericks. Butler followed up a team-high 23 point effort vs. Miami (11/27), which saw him score 19 second-half points in the game, with another impressive outting.  Caron attributed his results to finally feeling a groove mentally, physically and in terms of conditioning and the results just came through, "Tough times don't last, tough people do and I stayed the course and I am being rewarded."

"Again, I give our team credit for keeping him sort of going there in the third quarter," said Carlisle on Butler's evening.  "A couple of shot he hit were very difficult shots. But, it’s like hot goalie in hockey. When a goalie get hot they can stand on their head and stop anything. So, we look for hot shooters and we want to milk them."

Brendan Haywood emerged as a strong force off of the bench.  The big man came out with a lot of energy and channeled that into 6 points and 9 rebounds in just 21 minutes worth of action.  That led to the tag-team of Brenson Chanwood, collectively, netting 11 points and 17 rebounds.  Haywood was running the floor and making plays offensively and defensively.  The #1 fan of the Brendan Haywood Fan Club??  That would be Tyson Chandler, any time Haywood had a huge play, Chandler jumped out of his seat and stepped on to the court and was clapping and cheering on his tag-team partner.  

J.J. Barea had a nice bounce-back game in terms of shooting.  He shot 5-8 from the field with a pivotal 3-pointer that got things rolling for the Mavericks just before halftime.  Barea did extensive work on his jumper after the morning shootaround and had Darrell Armstrong coaching him throughout the process and the work paid off. Carlisle has never worried about the statistical numbers with Barea because, systematically, Barea has played well within the offense.  "He's just got to be aggressive, play his game," said Carlisle.  "Our screeners are doing a great job of changing screening angles and getting him into the paint.  He's a tough guy to deal with when he's got a head of steam and when we have space available on the inside...all of that stuff, as expected, comes when you just stick with it and keep playing."

Despite a win, the team and especially the coach wanted more, "We should have won by 20," said Carlisle.  "It is disappointing really. I am glad we won. I am glad we didn’t run up minutes on our main guys and as I said, we just have to be really steadfast on the importance of the defensive end and finishing off plays."

Quick Notes:

- The Mavericks shot 49.4% from the field and held Houston to a season-low 35.8% shooting percentage.  The Mavericks are now 10-2 when shooting 45% or higher from the field.

- When the Mavericks get a 10 point lead, chances are good they will hold on.  The Mavericks had a 22 point lead at one point during the game and they are now 12-3 when they achieve a double-digit lead.

- If Barea is effective in scoring, wins seem to follow.  Barea had 11 points and the Mavericks are now 5-0 when Barea scores in double figures.  The bench was outscored by Houston but had Shawn Marion, with 14 points, and Barea both in double figures, the Mavericks are now 9-0 when they have two bench players score in double figures. 

- DeShawn "Threevenson" continues to score and play great defense.  He shot 2-4 from beyond the arc and had a nice fadeaway jumper.  There really wasn't any special note, other than he has a cool new nickname.

- Speaking of Marion, Mark Cuban notices a change in Marion this year, "his motor seems to be about 40% faster."  The move to the second unit appears to be very beneficial to him and his defensive abilities are a huge asset, especially in crucial situations.

- Defense holds true and goes streaking, this marks the 8th time the Mavericks opponent was held to 10 points below their season average.

10/29 vs Memphis: 104 average - scored 91

11/8 vs Boston: 100.7 average - scored 87

11/10 @ Memphis: 105.6 average - scored 91

11/12 vs Philadelphia: 101.9 average - scored 90

11/19 vs Chicago: 102.9 average - scored 88

11/23 versus Detroit: 96.6 average - scored 84 

11/26 @ San Antonio: 108 average - scored 94

11/29 versus Houston: 104.4 average - scored 91

- As noted here, Dominique Jones is headed to the Mavericks D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends.  Some interesting tidbits: After today's shootaround a voice rang out loud calling for Jones to come to the locker room, it was Rick Carlisle.  As he was walking off the court, players were giving him a hard time, knowing that Jones was in line for some extensive 1-on-1 work with the coach.  During Mark Cuban's time with the media, Jones and Cuban exchanged some trash-talking.  Apparently, part of the process to keep Jones in game-condition is a 1-on-1 game with the owner.  Jones essentially said I'll get you back next time...indicating he lost in the game to Cuban.  That's either a very savvy move to let the owner win or this is a well-timed trip to Frisco.